A general trend of slowly opening up is happening. Yet multiple countries around the world are still under strict lockdowns. The local health measures are meant to contain the spread of the pandemic ravaging the planet, but it also has some unintended and unavoidable side effects.
Aside from causing massive economic fallout, usually disproportionately affecting lower-income households, the coronavirus and the measures meant to control its spread have also stymied human interaction.
Although most adults and adolescents can handle these restrictions, children, especially younger kids, are more vulnerable. If you have kids at home during the lockdown, they need you to step up more than ever.
Here are some holistic strategies you can use to ensure your kids can make it through lockdowns and the pandemic.
When China enforced lockdowns on as many as 11 provinces, it closed schools right alongside malls and other public spaces. This kept more than 180 million Chinese schoolchildren at home for a prolonged period. Researchers looked into the effects of the lockdown and separation from their peers had on these children. The study discovered that over 26 percent of children who were kept in lockdown for more than 70 days experienced symptoms of depression and anxiety. These feelings can have a lasting impact on the mental health of children and must be addressed as soon as possible.
The best way to take care of your child’s mental health is to talk to them about what they’re feeling. Engage them in conversation about what they’re afraid of or what they’re anxious about. Assuage them that so long as you follow proper procedures that they’ll be all right.
You should also be more supportive of their emotions and spend more time with kids, especially younger children. Your teens can use video conferencing tools and instant messaging to connect with their friends, but younger children aren’t as good at socializing through these programs. Younger children seek validation and security from their parents more than their peers. You are your younger children’s new best friend for the lockdown, and you should spend as much time as you can with them.
Despite the lockdowns, governments and educational institutions around the world have found different ways to ensure no child is left behind during the pandemic. Some countries have published self-learning modules children and parents can use to further their studies while private schools lean towards video conferencing classes.
As a parent, there are many ways you can help your further your kids educational progress during the pandemic. You can help them focus during virtual learning sessions to ensure they retain their lessons efficiently. But there are more ways you can assist your young children.
First, you can incorporate fun activities when you’re helping them review their lessons. Younger children prefer experiential learning, with tactile and visual representation rather than purely theoretically endeavors. Bust out some crayons, building blocks or similar learning aides and get studying.
You can also hire someone to help your kids with lessons. There are plenty of reliable businesses who offer online tutoring for high school students and younger children. This way, your kids will have professional help in tackling their lessons.
Finally, you can help develop your child’s other interests and mental talents by exploring their hobbies. Learning or refining skills related to hobbies can teach your kids important mental disciplines. For example, sketching and drawing are conducive to imagination and hand-eye coordination. Meanwhile, reading books helps open your kid’s mind to new ideas. Learning isn’t confined to the classroom and you should encourage your children to learn at every opportunity.
Just because you and your kids are cooped up, it’s not an excuse to skip on exercising. According to experts, children between the ages of 6 and 17 years old should do at least an hour of physical activity every day. Most of this time should be moderate or vigorous physical activity that involves things such as running and climbing. This will help your kids build their stamina and muscle strength.
As a parent, you can encourage younger children to have exercise through active play. If you have a lawn, you can play a spirited game of tag to get them running. Or you can find some lively music and have them do basic exercise routines with you. These should include bone-strengthening activities like jumping jacks and some light lifting. Children will often copy what they see you doing. Include them in your exercise routine and you can bond with them as well as keep them physically fit.
The pandemic will be a challenge to everyone, especially your kids. As a parent, it falls to you to shield them from the worst aspects of these times. Seeing to their holistic development throughout this ordeal will be essential in ensuring they have a bright future to look forward to.